Lee Men’s Golf Team Seeking First Ever National Title
Cleveland, TN-(WDEF-TV) Lee men’s golf is on a quest for its first national title down at the PGA National Resort in Palm Beach, Florida this week. The Flames have never been to the national tournament before. They won the regional title to get there. News 12’s Angela Moryan talks to the Flames about how special this history making season has been.
Said golfer Evan Spence: “There’s just something a little bit different about this group.”
For the first time in program history, the Lee men’s golf team can say they’re the region champs. A breezy first day, turned into opportunity for the Flames — who won the team title by three strokes.
Said head coach John Maupin: “Our last guy that was finishing up, the first four were already done, and he gets to 18, and I could tell he was feeling stressed. At that point, we had wrapped it up. So I’ll never forget putting my arm around him, and I said, ‘Connor, enjoy the walk up this last hole because it’ll be as a region champ.’ I mean, he dropped his bag, just bear hugged me.”
Said golfer Connor Pollman: “Gosh, it was hard to put into words, just having Coach tell me. I mean, that’s what we work for. … I tend to not be a very emotional person but I would definitely say there were some tears coming up 18.”
The Flames went from a small spark in the Top-5 of every tournament, to a roaring fire as region champs.
Said Spence: “Our kind of team slogan, motivator all year has kind of been ‘Unfinished business’ because we felt like we had the team to go down and do this last year. We were all working the right way and building towards something special, and it all just got cut off. So, we felt like we still kind of had something to prove.”
The historic win has ignited the Flames heading to their first ever NCAA national tournament.
Said Maupin: “We’ve been around the lead a lot. I think to finally close it down at the regional tournament, I don’t think I’m going to have to say a lot. I think these guys are ready to go.”
Said Dustin DeMersseman: “I think it just gives us a lot of confidence, and almost you step back and relax. You just go out there and do the same thing. We proved to ourselves we can do it.”
Said Spence: “I think we all just kind of know what it takes to win now. … We’d been knocking on the door, knocking on the door, knocking on the door, and to finally just blow it open when we really needed it the most, I think that just proves we can play with anybody. I think we all knew it, but to actually see it physically come together and come to fruition and get a win like that over some of the best teams in the country. I mean, we know we can do it, so let’s just go down there and finish the story off the right way.”